Download (Suny Series in Western Esoteric Traditions) Gyorgy E. Szonyi-John Dee's Occultism_ Magical Exaltation Through Powerful Signs-State University of New York Press (2010) PDF

Title(Suny Series in Western Esoteric Traditions) Gyorgy E. Szonyi-John Dee's Occultism_ Magical Exaltation Through Powerful Signs-State University of New York Press (2010)
Tags Magic (Paranormal) Positivism Western Esotericism
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Table of Contents
                            John Dee’s Occultism
Contents
Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Part 1. Definitions
	1. Principles and Demarcations
		THE CHALLENGE OF THE ESOTERIC
		FROM SCIENCE HISTORY TO CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
		THE POST-COMMUNIST PERSPECTIVE
	2. Mysticism, Occultism, Magic Exaltation
		FALL AND REBIRTH
		THE ORGANIC WORLD MODEL
		THE DOCTRINE OF EXALTATION
Part 2. Input: “In many bokes and sundry languages . . .”
	3. The Sources of Renaissance Magic
		TRADITIONS OF CLASSICAL MAGIC
			Frances Yates and the Rediscovery of Renaissance Magic
			Hermetic Magic
			Neoplatonism and Classical Theurgy
		MEDIEVAL MAGIC
			Medieval Ceremonial Magic
			Magical Exaltatio in the Picatrix
	4. Florentine Neoplatonism and Christian Magic
		FICINO’S TALISMANIC MAGIC
		PICO’S ENCOMIUM OF EXALTATIO
			Cabala and ‘exaltatio’
			Pico’s “Oration,” Cabalistic Magic, and Exaltatio
	5. Occult Philosophy, Symbolism, and Science
		TRITHEMIUS AND ANGEL MAGIC
		AGRIPPA’S TRIPARTITE MAGIC
			De occulta philosophia
			De incertitudine et vanitate omnium scientiarum
		PARACELSUS, ALCHEMY, THEOSOPHY
		ENOCH, SCIENCE, APOCALYPTIC PROPHECY
Part 3. Output: "Glyms or Beame of Radicall Truthes”
	6. The Ideology and Occult Symbolism of Dee’s Natural Philosophy
		ASTROLOGY: PROPAEDEUMATA APHORISTICA
		ALCHEMY: MONAS HIEROGLYPHICA
		MAGIC: THE MATHEMATICALL PRAEFACE
	7. Illuminaton and Angel Magic
		ANGEL MAGIC AND THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT LANGUAGE
		THE THEORY AND TECHNOLOGY OF ANGEL MAGIC
			Theory and Sources
			The Choreography of the Scrying Sessions
		DEE’S RELIGION AND THEOLOGY
			The Theological Framework of His Vision
			Humanism, Religion, and Denomination
	8. Dee and the Interpretive Community
		“EASTWARD HO!” DEE, PATRONAGE, AND CENTRAL EUROPE
			The Lure of East-Central Europe
			The Lure of Dee and Kelly for Eastern Europe
		MERIC CASAUBON AND THE POLITICS OF INTERPRETATION
			Magician, Heretic, and Witch
			Casaubon’s Politics
	9. Conclusion: Dee and Renaissance Symbolism
Notes
Bibliographies
	JOHN DEE’S WORKS
	SOURCES AND THEIR MODERN EDITIONS
	REFERENCE WORKS PARENTHETICALLY CITED
Index
	A
	B
	C
	D
	E
	F
	G
	H
	I
	J
	K
	L
	M
	N
	O
	P
	Q
	R
	S
	T
	U
	V
	W
	X
	Y
	Z
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

György E. Szó́nyi

John Dee’s Occultism
MAGICAL EXALTATION THROUGH

POWERFUL SIGNS

John Dee’s Occultism
MAGICAL EXALTATION THROUGH POWERFUL SIGNS

György E. Szó́nyi
Delving into the life and work of John Dee, Renaissance mathematician and

“conjurer to Queen Elizabeth,” György E. Szó́nyi presents an analysis of Renais-
sance occultism and its place in the chronology of European cultural history.
Culling examples of “magical thinking” from classical, medieval, and Renaissance
philosophers, Szó́nyi revisits the body of Dee’s own scientific and spiritual writings
as reflective sources of traditional mysticism. Exploring the intellectual foundations
of magic, Szó́nyi focuses on the ideology of exaltatio, the glorification or deification
of man. He argues that it was the desire for exaltatio that framed and tied together
the otherwise varied thoughts and activities of John Dee as well.

“György E. Szó́nyi writes with intelligence and clarity. This work is a useful
complement to past scholarly works on John Dee and is a must for any specialized
library.”

— Antoine Faivre, author of Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition:
Studies in Western Esotericism

“Szó́nyi has much of value to say about John Dee. He makes a significant con-
tribution to the field of Dee studies and to the understanding of Renaissance/early
modern European esotericism, especially from the perspective of Eastern Europe.”

— Arthur Versluis, author of Restoring Paradise:
Western Esotericism, Literature, Art, and Consciousness

György E. Szó́nyi is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Institute
of English and American Studies at the University of Szeged, Hungary. He is the
author of two other books on John Dee.

A volume in the SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
David Appelbaum, editor

State University of New York Press
www.sunypress.edu

HISTORY / RELIGIOUS STUDIES

COVER ART: ADAM MCLEAN

John D
ee’s O

ccultism
Szó́nyi

SU
N
Y

Page 191

171The Ideology and Occult Symbolism of Dee’s Natural Philosophy

A near-contemporary interpreter Thomas Tymme (who planned an
English translation of the Monas although we have only his preface to the
projected edition) included the alchemical aspects in his explanation of
the work’s number symbolism:

By the word TERNARIE is meant the first matter of the Philosophers
stone, which are there in.

By the QUATERNARIE is meant the 4 Elements: Water, Earth, Fire & Air.
By the QUINARIE is understoode Quintessence.
By the SEPTINARIE is understoode the 7 heavenly Planets [. . .] by whiche

are meant Gold, Silver, Lead, Tynn, Iron, Copper & or Quick Silver.
By the BINARIE is understoode common quick Silver, which is not the

Mercury of the Philosophers, and therefore being without that Mercury it
is rejected as a false Medicine. . . .

By the OCTONARIE is understoode the 8 parts of Alchimy: Calcination,
Dissolucion, Coniunccion, Putrifaccion, Separacion, Coagulacion, Sub-
limacion, & Fixacion.

By the DENARIE is meant the Multiplicacion of Gold & Silver, by the
perfection of the Medicine, from 1 to 10, from 10 to 100, & so by the
Number to a Number Infinite by Arithmeticall proporcion. (Tymme 1963,
27–28)

Dee himself refers to the alchemical importance of the monad
when he identifies the double semicircles at the bottom of the diagram
with the astrological sign of Aries: this is nothing other than the sign
of fire providing heat for the transmutation (X–XI; Dee 1964, 161).
The egg-shaped frame of the diagram furthermore refers to alchemy,
as it may stand for the alembic of the adept, also called the egg of the
philosophers. Here Dee again calls attention to the interrelatedness of
astrology and alchemy (astronomia inferior, XVIII).

In Charles Nicholl’s interpretation, mystical geometry, number sym-
bolism, and alchemy make the monad “a cosmogram of astrological import,
[and on the other hand it] works as a talismanic synopsis of the alchemi-
cal process” (1980, 45). The alchemical plane of reference incorporates
the doctrine of exaltatio or deification of man in Dee’s natural philoso-
phy. As Nicholl suggests, the creation of the alchemists’ Mercury—that
is, the quintessential, perfect Mercury in the final phase of the Work—
leads to the liberation of the spirit, too, because the process of (spiritual)
alchemy entails two transformations: while it captures the celestial ener-
gies and channels them into the material, it also elevates the soul and
leads it back to the supernatural spheres from the prison of the material

Page 192

172 JOHN DEE’S OCCULTISM

substance. Elaborating on this process, in the preface written to Maxi-
milian, Dee interprets his “magic parable” as follows:

This, our hieroglyphic monad possesses, hidden away in its innermost
centre, a terrestrial body. [The monad] teaches without words, by what
divine force that [terrestrial body] should be actuated. When it has
been actuated it is to be united (in a perpetual marriage) to a generative
influence which is lunar and solar. [. . .] When this Gamaaea has (by
God’s will) been concluded, the monad can no longer be fed or watered
on its native soil, until the fourth, great, and truly metaphysical revo-
lution be completed. When that advance has been made, he who fed
[the monad] will first himself go away into a metamorphosis and will
afterwards very rarely be held by mortal eye. This, O very good King,
is the true invisibility of the magi, which has so often been spoken
of. . . . (Dee 1964, 135–37).

In developing a philosophy of the alchemical exaltatio of man, Dee’s
masters were undoubtedly the hermetist magi Ficino, Agrippa, and Para-
celsus. Agrippa in De occulta philosophia (1533) claimed that

magicians affirm, that not only by the mixture and application of
natural things, but also of images, seals, rings, glasses, and some other
instruments, being opportunely framed under a certain constellation,
some celestiall illustration may be taken, and some wonderful thing
may be received; for the beams of the celestiall bodies being animated,
living, sensuall, and bringing along with them admirable gifts and a
most violent power, do, even in a moment, and at the first touch,
imprint wonderful powers in the images, though their matter be less
capable. (2.35; Agrippa 1997, 373)

Similarly, Paracelsus in his Astronomia magna wrote,

The Magus can transport many meadows of heaven into a small pebble,
which we call ‘Gemaheu,’ or ‘Imago,’ or ‘Character.’ For these are
containers in which the magus keeps sidereal forces and virtues as in a
box. (Paracelsus 1589–1591, 10:376)19

All the Renaissance magi tried to clarify through natural-philosophical
speculations the nature of that transcendental material, or radiation, or
agent that transferred the energy of the anima mundi to the talismans.
These philosophers also strongly asserted the bidirectional nature of this

Page 381

361Index

Reuchlin, Johannes, 80, 91, 97, 109,
127, 142, 160, 202, 232–36, 266,
316n12, 321n47

Robert of Chester, 70, 147
Roberts, J. and A. G. Watson. See under

intellectual historians
Rosicrucians, 9–10, 46, 194, 262, 263–

68, 296, 325n42, 325n43
“rosencrucian enlightment”, 12, 89 (see

also under Yates, Frances A.)
Rosselli, Hannibal, 55, 257–58
Rowles, Edward, 324n35

Roz̆mberk, Vilém (Czech magnates), 247,
250, 255, 262–64

Rudolf II (Habsburg), 182, 240, 245,
251, 262, 295, 326n46

Rudolfov (Kaiser Rudolf Stadt), 263
Ruland, Martin, 36, 244, 320n26

San Clemente, Guillén de, 256
Saunders, Patrick, 267
Savonarola, Girolamo, 233
Schedel, Hartmann, 26, 186, 188–89
Schröter, Adam, 248
Schütz, Tobias, 291, 328n7
Schwenckfeld, Caspar, 313n41
Sega, Filippo, 255
Servet, Miguel, 132, 138, 237, 239
Shakespeare, William, 281
Sherman, William. See under intellectual

historians
Sidney, Philip, 230, 244–46, 261, 289,

322n10
Silesia, 240, 245, 267
Silvius, Willem, 161, 243
Simon Magus, 128–30, 142, 156, 278,

312n31, 312n32
Sinclair, Ian. See under modern writers
Socrates, 57, 79, 101, 204, 271
Solomon

Solomonic art and literature, 70–71,
72, 77, 202, 213, 302n6, 319n20
(see also magic, ars notoria)

wisdom of, 21, 125, 142
Sommer, Johann, 239, 322n61
Southwell, Thomas, 324n35
Sozzini, Fausto, 260

Spenser, Edmund, 230, 240, 281–83,
285, 286, 287, 288–90, 294, 298,
327n4

Steiner, Rudolf, 6, 280
Studion, Simon, 264, 265, 325n43
Swedenborg, Emmanuel, 6
Szulakowska, Urszula. See under

intellectual historians
Synesius, 23, 120, 305n17, 316n15

Tabula smaragdina, 52, 109, 174,
303n12

Talbot, Edward. See Kelly, Edward
Theophrastus, 101
Thomas Aquinas, 26, 35, 101, 303n10,

306n30
Thurneysser, Leonhard, 204
Transylvania, 240, 326n51
Trebona (Tr̆ebon̆), 210, 224, 250, 255,

260, 262, 263, 324n35
Trithemius, Johannes, 27, 72, 73, 105–

10, 108, 118, 132, 148, 201, 271,
310n10, 310n15, 312n32

works of, 108, 310n4, 310n9:
De septem secundeis, 110, 213;
Steganographia, 105, 107, 242, 315n6

Turnebus, Adrien, 55, 305n15
Tymme, Thomas, 164, 171, 216, 217,

218

Urbino, 161

van Helmont, J. B., 240
Vaughan, Thomas, 240, 267
Venice, 43, 150, 161, 246
Vesalius, Andreas, 133
Vienna, 161, 243, 244–45, 246, 269,

270
Vincent of Beauvais, 52, 147
Vitruvius, 286
Vr̆esovic, Václav, 263

Walker, D. P. See under intellectual
historians

Walpole, Horace, 201, 205–6, 319n16
Walsingham, Sir Francis, 244, 259
Wechel (family of printers), 243, 245

Page 382

362 INDEX

Weigel, Valentin, 237, 239, 265, 313n41
White, Hayden. See under intellectual

historians
Wideman, Carl, 263
Wimpfeling, Jakob, 234
Wind, Edgar. See under intellectual

historians
witchcraft, 113, 118, 201, 230, 271–72,

319n19
trials, 201, 319n19

Wolfenbüttel, 240
Wolsey, Thomas (Cardinal), 247, 264
Wood, Anthony, 246
Wrocl-aw (Breslau), 245, 261

Yates, Frances A. See under intellectual
historians

Yeats, W. B. See under modern writers
Yourcenar, Marguerite. See under modern

writers

Zalmoxis, 102
Zetzner, Lazarus, 265, 316n9
Ziegler, Philip, 266
Zika, Charles. See under intellectual

historians
zodiac, 36, 66, 137, 168, 196, 213, 291,

293
house of the 84, 137, 213, 287
zodiacal-man, 31, 33–34

Zoroaster, 98, 101, 102, 108, 119
Zozimos, 313n43
Zurich, 161, 178, 244

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